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Vatican newspaper article: Amoris Laetitia #35-37 is at heart of Pope’s thought

August 09, 2018

Three paragraphs in Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) contain the teaching that gives “access to the heart of the theological thought of Pope Francis,” according to a French theologian whose words were republished by the Vatican newspaper.

The apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, issued in 2016, is devoted to joy in the family. On August 7, L’Osservatore Romano published an excerpt of a book by Father Philippe Bordeyne, rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris. The Vatican Publishing House has just published an Italian translation of that book, Divorcés remariés: Ce qui change avec François (2017).

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis wrote, “What we need is a more responsible and generous effort to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family, and in this way to help men and women better to respond to the grace that God offers them” (n. 35).

Father Bordeyne said that the latter part of the sentence—“to help men and women better to respond to the grace that God offers them”—manifests “the vision that Francis has of the pastoral activity of the Church” and is “also the project that animates Amoris Laetitia in all its parts.”

“In a programmatic manner, paragraphs 36 and 37 outline the project,” Father Bordeyne added, as he pointed to the “seven key words which, in my opinion, give access to the heart of the theological thought of Pope Francis”: ideal, concrete, grace, growth, conscience, “concrete knowledge” of one’s limits, and discernment.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 10, 2018 9:51 PM ET USA

    Those seven words are precisely the words that are found in the controversial paragraphs of Amoris Laetitia. Contrast these with seven other words, such as: good, holy, responsible, obedient, loyal, follower, conversion.